How the BBC uses UGC: part Two. An interview with Matthew Eltringham


Matthew Eltringham is assistant Editor of Interactivity and Social Media Development at the BBC. I did an article about how he developed the UGC hub at the BBC and how the line of verification is a way of understanding which information the BBC will and will not use and how it is verified.

Matthew describes the different ways of incorporating UGC into newsgathering and more importantly, how we as fellow journalists can learn from the BBC how to verify that UGC is correct.

I asked Matthew if he could explain to me and GeneratedByUsers‘ fellow journalists exactly what the line of verification is in his own words.


I then asked him: If something comes up from the dark side, the dark side of the line of verification, how do you go about checking that it is okay to use it  and what influences you to use it?


And finally, I asked him what are the consequences of using wrong information from the dark side and is it worth using?


Although Matthew and his team experienced some skepticism from the BBC when the UGC hub was created, he claims it is merely another form of journalism and must be used alongside conventional journalism in the 21st century to keep up with breaking news.
By Linzi Kinghorn

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3 responses to “How the BBC uses UGC: part Two. An interview with Matthew Eltringham

  1. Surely if you’re spending time to verify that information, someone could break the story ahead of you? In the papers nowadays, people just write ‘allegedly’ to cover their backs.

  2. Hi Toby. Although breaking the news story first is extremely important, more important is the BBC’s reputation for and responsibility to tell the absolute truth. Without verifying all facts and rumours, it is not real journalism. Here is a link to the BBC College of Journalism’s site explaining that in more detail.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/journalism/ethics-and-values/truth-accuracy/

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